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214            A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
but to which, in ancient times, approach was forbidden except to a privileged few. They described the results of the king's approach to the Mysteries.
The second panel represented him standing between adult hawk-headed Horus and ibis-faced Thoth. Each god held a vase over Rameses' head, but instead of a stream of water, each poured a stream of handled crosses over and around him.
Now Thoth was the god of both wisdom and secret learning. Here he bestowed, through initiation, that mysterious blended knowledge of psychical forces and spiritual wisdom for which Egypt was so famed in early times. He was also Lord of the Moon. Hence all magical and religious ceremonies of secret importance, and especially all initiations into the Mysteries, were conducted at night, and at those phases of the moon which marked its greatest influence; that is, new and full moon.
The adult, hawk-faced Horus was the sun-god. His part of this scene was emblematical of the fact that initiation, although begun at night, terminated at day, with the arrival of dawn. When the rays of the morning sun lit up the top of the candidate's head, the hierophant addressed certain "words of power" to him, and he awoke.
The third panel revealed Rameses, now the wise initiate, being led forward by two other gods, who grasped his hands in welcome and displayed the ansated cross before his face, tndicating his fellowship with them by virtue of his attainment, in the last scene the king was depicted offering a statuette to the god Amen-Ra. The statuette was a seated god with a feather stuck on its head—the god of Truth. The Pharaoh had now attained to Wisdom, would henceforth be "true of voice," would make the sacrifice of his life upon the altar of truth; that is would conform, both in his thought and act, obediently to the spiritual laws governing human lite, just unveiled to him by his initiation.
Thus these chiselled pictures unfolded to me a glimpse of the secret inner life of an instructed Pharaoh, and something of the meaning of Egypt's celebrated but exclusive Mysteries.
And then I was attracted westwards to a beautiful little temple where some among these initiated few had learnt their wisdom. It was a shrine of the Osirian Mysteries, and to me perhaps one of the most important places in all Karnak itself, small though it was. There, on the entrance jambs, I saw carvings showing the Ptolemy who had erected it being taken into the presence